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the worst place on earth, you know. and he came back and he stopped, he changed his emphasis from religion to business, in economics- that's how disappointed he was. and he told us that we can't look to go there; he said we have to find our life right here in america. he said that everything we need, we can have it right here in america. so he changed his direction for us, he changed his vision for the future. >> you know, i wanted to run this by you. i don't know if you had a chance- the way i've spoken about it, and we had some notes here, is when we speak about religion, we talk about two very fundamental things, and one is identity- you know, who you are- and one is your relationship with god or with other people. and to try to make sense of elijah muhammad's teaching of nation of islam, i've talked about it in terms of identity being self-esteem and relationship as being empowerment, and that's what african-americans needed because of being marginalized, being pushed aside. does that make any sense? >> well, it comes home very clearly to me. >> yeah. i'm saved! >> yeah, that's what it
and religion in general, as is our way in this class, but we think about identity and relationship. well, what if we talked about identity and self-esteem and relationship as empowerment? that's what i think we're seeing when we're talking about the african-american muslim movement. in other words, identity is self-esteem- a person must feel good about themselves- and relationship is about empowerment. and i'm- you know, this is not the gospel truth here, as always- i'm working with some ideas that we're familiar with, so we can try to make sense of this powerful doctrinal statement. so when we look at the nation of islam, as we have here on the graphic, we can see it as a reinterpreretation of traditionl islamic or muslim doctrine, in order to meet ethical challenges in a society that is perceived to be racist by african-americans. see where i'm headed with this? that we take traditional muslim doctrines and we reinterpret it in order to raise up self-esteem- that is, identity- and raise up relationship, which is empowerment, and this may be the key behind it. well, of course, i'll ask our ex
great class here on islam- we're going to be asking another world religion to help us understand the doctrinal dimension. but we're having so much fun and we've had such an interesting set of classes that i'd just like throw it out- whatever "it" is- once again to this great audience, and any observations you've had since we last met that bring up some of our key class themes- we're always getting some interesting comments here. yeah, virginia? >> i wasn't going to say anything this week. however- >> why not? >> i've found that- i opened new yorker, and here are political cartoons on our meditation- one thing, it says, "our journey." you know, he says, "have we arrived yet?"- these little children sitting there in meditative poses. and when we were talking about the dome of the rock, there's a spread in the magazine about that. everything seems so current now. >> you begin to see these things once you- it reminds me of my geology class. you know, i took geology to get through my general ed, and just taking that course, it helps me see more in the natural environment, and hopefull
is as a professor of historic religion and of islamic studies. >> okay. in our study of religions, you can almost pick up any introduction to religion book and you find the five pillars of islam is usually the way it's presented. but coming from a devout muslim, could you explain the five pillars of islam to us? >> yeah. these five pillars basically are- there are two aspects of- that we just call the five articles of faith, and then the practice of that faith comprised into the five pillars of islam. and the first pillar of islam, it is called shahada- it means bearing witness to the truth- and it goes like that, that i be a witness there is no god but allah, and i bear witness that mohammed is his final the last messenger. now this is a kind of confession out of credal formula, in a sense that anybody who wants to be- join the community of the muslims just has to take the shahada or make- confess that in the public, he will be considered as a muslim. now how one muslim, or a person being a muslim must live as his relation to god, then these are the rest of the other four pillars which explain.
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